HC asks DSLSA to conduct special workshops for senior jail officials

New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) to organise workshops for senior jail officials apprising them of their duties and obligations in law towards the prisoners.”We are of the opinion that officers posted in the jails, particularly those of the rank of the Superintendents, Deputy Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents, must be apprised of their duties and obligations in law,” said a division bench of the high court presided over by Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad.The bench stated that in the said workshop, the relevant provisions of law and the case of law shall be discussed with the attendees and they shall be apprised of the various nuances of law relating to the prisoners and their rights and the duty of the jail authorities.The directions came in while the bench was hearing a petition filed by Sanjay Singh, who was unlawfully detained between June 20 and 25. The court directed the DSLSA to arrange for tailor made online workshops for the senior jail officials in order to sensitize them towards their duties and obligations.”Member (Secretary), Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) is directed to arrange online workshops, tailor-made for the said purpose. The Superintendents, Deputy Superintendents and Assistant Superintendents, Jail and all the 14 Law Officers who have been appointed by the Prison (Headquarters) shall attend the said workshops on dates that may be fixed in consultation with the D.G. (Prisons),” the bench said.”It is further directed that Member (Secretary), DSLSA, shall organise similar workshops in conjunction with DG (Prisons) on a regular interval and at least once a year,” the bench said while also asking the DSLSA to file a compliance affidavit after conducting the said online workshop.While hearing the matter through video conferencing, the bench perused on a status report filed by the DG (Prisons), Delhi, tendering an unconditional apology for the inappropriate explanation submitted by the Superintendent, Central Jail-I, for unlawfully detaining the petitioner in prison.The said status report further stated that to prevent any such mistake as has happened in the present matter, the Prison (Headquarters) has constituted a Committee to randomly inspect the jail records concerning detention of prisoners in jail and their release.Further, a Circular has been issued informing all concerned that no person must be detained without any valid and justified reason and that the erring official will be held responsible for such a lapse.According to the said report, at least 1.5 lacs prisoners have been released during the past three years from the Tihar jail.—IANSanb/arm

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